The mobile game phenomenon Angry Birds will get its own line of retail stores, developer Rovio has announced.
Speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in Beijing, Rovio's chief marketing officer Peter Vesterbacka said the move was partly to tackle piracy in China. He brought a couple of unofficial Angry Birds balloons on stage with him to drive the point home.
There's a lot of Angry Birds products in China and most of them are not officially licensed,” he said.
We get a lot of inspiration from local producers. I'm going to take these balloons back and tell our guys to please copy these products and make them real.
Angry Birds is the most copied brand in China. Clearly there's a lot of demand for it – the game and physical products. We want to sell officially licensed and good quality products, but at the same time we have to be happy that the brand is so loved.
That's why we're building our first store here in China. Hopefully we'll have quite a few in the next 12 months.”
Rovio already sells a range of merchandise through its own website and in High Street retailers, including T-shirts and cuddly toys. It is aiming to generate around $100m in sales from Angry Birds in China alone this year.
Angry Birds has been downloaded over 350m times.